Biden Bureaucrats Launch War on Self-Employment

Biden Labor Secretary Marty Walsh giving a speech
Though his career as a union boss ended nearly a decade ago, Biden Labor Secretary Marty Walsh has never deviated from his determination to herd more and more workers under union monopoly control.

Loss of U.S. House Control Won’t End Schemes to Boost Big Labor

Top union bosses deployed billions of dollars, much of it forced-dues money conscripted from workers, to protect their puppet President Joe Biden’s congressional allies from voter anger this past fall.

But to a large extent they were unsuccessful.

National Right to Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad commented: “The national media have depicted the 2022 elections as a smashing success for Joe Biden and Big Labor.

“But the fact is, in state after state, Senate and House candidates who had backed Biden efforts to promote the forced unionization of millions of additional employees, and faced competitive races, went down to defeat.

“Unfortunately, there is no credible reason to expect that the Biden Administration will in any way back off its relentless efforts to help Big Labor corral more workers into unions.

“Indeed, Team Biden is likely instead to redouble its efforts to rig regulations governing workplace management in union officials’ favor.”

Bureaucratic Scheme Would Criminalize Gig Work

A case in point is an initiative launched just a few weeks before Election Day by the Biden Labor Department.

On October 11, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, a former Boston mayor and construction union boss who became infamous for allegedly menacing business owners and managers who didn’t kowtow to his demands, signaled his intention to criminalize working as an independent contractor by “reinterpreting” federal labor law.

Mr. Walsh would accomplish this radical goal by replacing a common-sense Trump-era rule for determining who can legally work as an independent contractor with a new rule that would reclassify, by bureaucratic fiat, tens of millions of independent contractors as “employees.”

“What is it about the tens of millions of Americans who support themselves and their families or earn extra income by working as independent contractors that bothers the Biden Administration so much?” asked Mr. Mourad.

“The reason why Marty Walsh and other Biden bureaucrats want to prevent such Americans from earning income in the way that suits them best is actually plain:

“The President and his handpicked appointees want to help Big Labor bosses corral such workers into unions and force them to fork over union dues or fees in order to continue plying their trade.

“During his 2020 campaign for the White House, Mr. Biden again and again touted his support for robbing independent contractors of their workplace freedoms as a means of motivating the union hierarchy to pour more and more money into getting him elected.

“As soon as he became President, he hoped to seal the deal legislatively, by signing into law the misnamed Protecting the Right to Organize [PRO] Act, a package of giveaways to union bigwigs that includes a provision targeting independent contractors in all 50 states.”

‘Californization’ of U.S. Labor Policy Would Be Disastrous For Employees

The PRO Act would have replicated on a national scale what Big Labor Sacramento politicians have imposed on California through A.B.5, which took effect at the beginning of 2020.

The reality is that A.B.5’s impact has been disastrous for workers. Far from hiring erstwhile California contractors as payroll employees, companies simply cut ties with them.

The same debacle will unfold nationally if the looming Biden/Walsh regulations are implemented.

While the Biden Labor Department’s twisted redefinition of what an independent contractor is could theoretically be changed before it is finalized, the reality is that Mr. Walsh’s goal is to make gig work all but impossible.

Committee Will Lobby New House Leaders to Use Spending Power to Block Scheme

But largely because of the success of the Committee’s recently-concluded federal Survey 2022 program (see page one of this Newsletter edition for additional information), there is a ray of hope for America’s gig workers.

“Thanks in part to the impact of the Right to Work Survey 2022,” explained Mr. Mourad, “the PRO Act has virtually zero chance of being adopted in the 2023-24 Congress.

“And the Committee will have an opportunity, through mobilization of its members, to sway U.S. House leaders this coming year to wield their appropriations power to block the Labor Department from enforcing its forthcoming anti-independent contractor rule.” 

This article was originally published in our monthly newsletter. Go here to access previous newsletter posts.

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